Surface Water Quality Bureau

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Water Quality Management Plan/Continuing Planning Process Public Comment DRAFT Released
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On February 1, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved revisions to the New Mexico Continuing Planning Process (CPP) document. The revisions, which were adopted by the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) on December 14, 2004, pertain to implementation of the antidegradation policy in the water quality standards. The revisions replace the former version of the CPP that was adopted in July 1998.

Section 303(e) of the federal Clean Water Act (33 USC 1251 et seq.) (CWA) requires that each state establish and maintain a continuing planning process. Section 74-6-4.B of the New Mexico Water Quality Act (NMSA 1978) (WQA) states the WQCC "shall adopt a comprehensive water quality management program and develop a continuing planning process" [emphasis added].

The purpose of the 2003 - 2004 proposed revision to the CPP was to establish implementation procedures for the antidegradation policy in the New Mexico water quality standards. Pursuant to §303 of the CWA, states may adopt water quality standards in order to protect water quality and to forward the objectives of the Act to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation's waters. The WQCC under authority of the WQA has adopted Water Quality Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters (20.6.4 NMAC) (WQS) for the State of New Mexico. A required element of the WQS is the Antidegradation Policy. The WQCC's policy is found at NMAC. The water quality standards at NMAC describe implementation of the policy and state: "[These] implementation activities are supplemented by detailed antidegradation review procedures developed under the state's continuing planning process." In its January 2001 Record of Decision, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required revised antidegradation policy implementation procedures when it reviewed the State's water quality standards triennial review submittal of January 31, 2000.

CPP-Related Links:

Updated CPP as adopted by the WQCC on 12/14/04 and approved by EPA on 02/01/07

Minutes of the WQCC Meeting

SWQB PowerPoint® presentation

WQCC Transmittal Letter to EPA

EPA Approval Letter and Record of Decision

Final Draft Implementation Guidance

Response to Public Comment (on 11-12-03 Draft)

Public Comments Received:

Amigos Bravos Comments

City of Santa Fe Comments

Dairy Producers Comments

EPA Comments

LANL Comments

San Juan Water Comments

Nov. 12, 2003 Draft Implementation Procedure

Nov. 12, 2003 Public Notice

1998 CPP

Clean Water Act

NM Water Quality Act

NM Water Quality Standards for Interstate and Intrastate Surface Waters - 20.6.4 NMAC

EPA January 2001 Water Quality Standards Review Record of Decision

History of this CPP Update
On November 12, 2003, the New Mexico Environment Department Surface Water Quality Bureau (SWQB) presented to the WQCC a public discussion draft of a proposed revision to the CPP.

On the same date, the SWQB published a public notice of a 60-day public comment period in several newspapers (Albuquerque Journal, Farmington Daily Times, Raton Range, Roswell Record, and Santa Fe New Mexican) and on the NMED website advertising the availability of the discussion draft and inviting comment. Notice was also sent to individuals on the SWQB's mailing list. Under the CWA, the EPA is required to review each state's CPP. Therefore, a copy of the discussion draft was also transmitted to the EPA for comment.

The public comment period closed on January 12, 2004. The SWQB received written comments from the EPA, Amigos Bravos, City of Santa Fe, Dairy Producers of New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the San Juan Water Commission. These comments were reviewed by the SWQB for incorporation into the proposal as appropriate.

On November 8, 2004, the SWQB posted three documents to the website:

The first document was a proposed minor revision to the main body of the CPP document. The only change in the main portion of the document was on page 28 and was necessary to direct the reader to the new Appendix A of the CPP, which is the Antidegradation Policy Implementation Procedure. SWQB recognizes that other portions of this document are in need of revision. These changes will be made in a future effort including public participation. The only change that was proposed, as part of this public process was the inclusion of the Antidegradation Policy Implementation Procedure.

The second document was the Final Draft of the Antidegradation Policy Implementation Procedure that would be incorporated as Appendix A of the main document. The public review draft of the Procedure was made available to the public on November 12, 2003. The Final Draft incorporated changes made to the November 12, 2003 draft based upon comments received from the public.

The third document was the Department’s detailed response to comments received from the public.

On December 14, 2004, the WQCC considered the SWQB's November 8, 2004 final draft implementation guidelines as an agenda item during its regularly scheduled public meeting. The WQCC's review began with a PowerPoint® presentation from the SWQB summarizing the project. The WQCC then deliberated on the proposal, made certain amendments and adopted changes to the CPP including the new Antidegradation Policy Implementation Procedures.

EPA approved the revisions in a letter and Record of Decision dated February 1, 2007.

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Planning Essentials...
Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP)
Quality Management Plan (QMP)
Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP)
More Related Topics of Interest...
Standards for Interstate/Intrastate Suface Waters
GIS:  Geographic Information System with monitoring and watershed data
Monitoring and Assessment in New Mexico
New Mexico's CWA §303(d)/§305(b) Integrated List and Report
New Mexico's Nonpoint Source Management Program
New Mexico's Point Source Regulation Program
NPDES Permits in New Mexico
NPDES Primacy Project
NPDES Storm Water
Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW) in New Mexico
River Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (RERI)
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
Watershed Protection
Other Important Links...
US Environmental Protection Agency
Clean Water Act
Section 303:  Water Quality Standards and Implementation Plans
Section 303(d): Total Maximum Daily Loads
Section 305(b):  Water Pollution Inventories
Section 402:  National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
Policy and Guidance
Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC)


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